Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sicky Eyewear: Stylish Sunglasses For The Most Fashionable

You may say I have a thing for sunglasses—I have a lot of designer shades that I love wearing, no matter the season. They're a necessary accessory, after all. I'm always looking for a new pair, and even though I have many, I always need more. It's an addiction. A healthy one, though!

I was approached by the team at Sicky Eyewear to review one of their incredibly cool and stylish pair of shades, and of course I said yes.  I'm loving them hard and after only a couple of days, I've had quite a few people ask me where they were from and how they could get a pair, too.

Creator John Hildebrand was a photographer first and created Sicky eyewear when he felt disconnected from the brands of sunglasses he was seeing on store shelves. He set up studio in his Malibu garage and created his brand, using his nickname—Sicky. The rest, as they say, is history.  (Well, let's just add here that Sicky creates the highest-quality eyewear on the market, and they're made in Japan.)

"Born and designed in Malibu, then meticulously handcrafted in Japan, our point-of-view is uniquely our own but our vision is shared by all creative underdogs. Bold design. Tirelessly refined production processes. Independent. No compromises." 

It seems that everyone is loving Sicky eyewear, too—they're on the faces of every celebrity and model out there, from Jennifer Lopez to Gigi Hadid and even Justin Bieber and Hayden Christensen. Basically, they are everywhere. Yes, they're definitely the shades to be rocking this summer—anywhere you are. Just check out SICKY'S World on Instagram to see more gorgeous people rocking these shades.

It was a really tough choice deciding which pair to go with, but in my classic style, I chose a pair I knew I'd love: the S11 Black Tortoise. These shades sell for $220.00. And I love them!

By the way, you may be wondering where the name Sicky comes from. Hildebrand says: "To me, SICKY means freedom of expression. No barriers, no worries.... it means aggression. It means passion It means hard work. It means full-of-life. Sick means being proud of your individuality and who you are as a person."

Now this is a company I can stand behind—I love the concept, and I love the glasses. If you have any questions on my shades or want to find out more, feel free to contact me.

Thank you, Sicky Eyewear, for bringing me into your cool world and giving me a new pair of sunnies to fall in love with.  These are my new favourite pair of sunglasses.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Shop Local And Win a $100 PC Gift Card

As summer comes to an end, (how did that happen?) I'm doing everything I can to enjoy the last moments before we get back into the fall routine. There is so much left to enjoy, especially spending time outside, with family and friends—swimming, BBQ-ing, and just soaking up the sun as much as we can.

An important part of my day-to-day life is gathering my family together for meal times, and in the summer, we kick back, relax, and enjoy eating fresh foods with each meal, outside. (It's just so simple to eat health during the summer months, isn't it?)

I love that Loblaws provides a great variety of fresh, local ingredients, especially during summertime. In fact, 40% of produce sold in Loblaws stores is sourced by Canadian growers during this peak season, and Loblaws is also the largest purchaser of locally grown food in the country.

Loblaws recently teamed up the vegan YamChops butcher to create unique and tasty, seasonally inspired recipes perfect for summer dining and entertaining. I love finding new recipes I can make for my family, especially when they include local, fresh ingredients I'm already shopping for at my local Loblaws.

Smashed Fiesta Mini Potatoes and Corn and Miso Soup are two delicious options to make for dinner, with nothing but good-for-you ingredients.

How mouthwatering does the Smashed Fiesta Mini Potatoes dish look? It's delicious, and healthy, too.


This vegan‐friendly play on a classic nacho is a great way to mix things up for the summer – or any time of year. Turn any fiesta into a smash hit with these mouth‐watering savoury bites.

Serves: 6 people (allow 2‐3 smashed potatoes per person) 

Prep time: 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Chef: Michael Abramson on behalf of Loblaws



  •   16‐20 Mini New Potatoes
  •   2 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •   1 tsp Sea salt
  •   1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
      Taco “Meat”
  •   1 cup Walnuts (toasted)
  •   1 1⁄2 tsp Mexican chili powder
  •   1⁄2 tsp Cumin
  •   1⁄4 tsp Sea salt
  •   1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  •   1 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      Tomato Salsa
  •   1 1⁄4 cup PC® Flavour Burst Tomato of Yore Beefsteak Tomatoes
  •   1⁄4 cup Sweet onion
  •   1/3 cup Basil (or coriander)
  •   1 Small JalapeƱo
  •   2 tbsp Lime juice
  •   1 tsp Sea salt
      Cashew Sour Cream
  •   2 cups Raw cashews
  •   1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  •   3⁄4 ‐ 1 cup Water
  •   1 1⁄2 tbsp Cider vinegar
  •   1⁄4 tsp Sea salt


Wash potatoes well.


  1. Boil 10 cups (2500 ml) of water and add 1 tsp sea salt.
  2. Add mini potatoes and continue to boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer –
    approx. 10‐12 minutes, but will vary depending on potato size.
  3. Drain potatoes and rinse well under cold water to halt the cooking process.
  4. Take one potato at a time and place between the folds of a double folded, clean kitchen
    towel. Press down firmly to “smash” potato to about 1‐1 1⁄2 cm thickness.
  5. Place “smashed” potato on a parchment‐ or silpat‐lined baking sheet and repeat with
    remaining potatoes.
  6. Preheat oven to broil. Brush "smashed" potatoes on both sides with olive oil and return
    to the baking sheet.
  7. Place in preheated oven and broil for approximately 4‐6 minutes until the edges just
    begin to crisp up.
Taco “Meat”
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and walnuts on a parchment‐ or silpat‐lined baking sheet. Place
    in oven for approximately 5‐7 minutes – shaking pan every couple of minutes. Look for them to darken a shade and smell "toasty". Be careful – toasting any nut can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds.
  2. Place toasted walnuts and all other taco "meat" ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Keep a bit of texture.
Tomato Salsa
  1. Wash and seed tomatoes. Chop into fine dice and place in medium‐sized bowl.
  2. Finely chop onion. Add to bowl with tomatoes.
  3. Mince basil and jalapeno with seeds. Add to bowl.
  4. Add lime juice and sea salt and mix together gently; drain any excess liquid that has
    accumulated in the bowl prior to serving.
Cashew Sour Cream
  1. Add cashews to 4 Cups (1000 ml) boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and
    let cashews sit in water for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews and add to high speed blender with remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend at high speed until you reach a "sour cream" consistency. Add additional water 1
    tablespoon at a time if required.
  4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not using immediately.
Potato Assembly

1. On a serving plate, top smashed potatoes with 1‐2 tsp walnut taco "meat,” 1 tsp of fresh

salsa, 1 tsp of cashew sour cream and 1/2 tsp green onion.

TIP: “Smashed” potatoes and taco “meat” can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Fresh cut tomato salsa may be kept refrigerated for 2 days. Cashew sour cream may be kept for one week if covered and refrigerated.

For more recipe ideas, check out YamChops.com.

Shopping health, local food is important to me and my family, and I want to know why you think supporting local growers is important—tell me in the comments below and I'll pick a winner to win a $100 PC Gift Card on August 30th, 2016. 

Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. (Leave a separate comment telling me you are!)

Good Luck—and enjoy the last few weeks of this wonderful season.

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post, and all views and opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Affordable And Stylish Must-Have Products For Back To School

I can't believe I'm talking about this, but it's almost time for the kids to head back to school. It's crazy how quickly summer passes, isn't it? It's also too bad winter months never, ever seem to go by as fast. I wish summer lasted year-round, but let's be honest—my kids are definitely needing routine back in their lives. And as much as I love lounging by the pool for hours every day... I am also ready for more regular routine.

Yes, we've had a wonderful summer filled with great memories and vacations to Mont Tremblant and south Florida, and my boys enjoyed a couple of weeks of tennis camp, too. The rest of our summer days and nights were spent swimming and enjoying the great outdoors, and now... it's time to dust off the backpacks, and start thinking about making lunches every day. Are you ready? I am! (Except for the making lunches every day part. I could do without that.)

I was on CTV Morning Live today talking about essential and affordable back-to-school products kids will need this fall, whether they're starting kindergarten or university.

Here's what you need before the school year starts:

Sears Canada: For complete back-to-school looks for boys or girls, check out Sears Canada for fashionable and affordable finds. I love how it's so easy to shop at Sears Canada, and how you can find complete outfits for the kids for $65 or less. They also have a great selection of backpacks, too.

Mabel's Labels: I never start the school year without labels from Mabel's Labels. It is really important to label children's items for school, from backpacks to lunch bags to shoes and pencil cases. There are many different styles and icons to choose from, too.  I love that Mabel's Labels has allergy alert labels and stickers for kids with nut or other allergies, giving parents some peace of mind when kids are in school. 

Chapters Indigo: I could live in Chapters Indigo. It's more than just books, though books is the number one reason I go as often as I do. The back-to-school section is amazing, and offers many different and affordable option for the school year. From pencil crayons and markers, to calendars and lunch containers, you'll definitely find the stylish, affordable things your kids (and you!) will need for the coming school year. For more, check out Chapters.Indigo.ca. 

Tag Along Toys: Shopping local is important to my family and I, and one of our favourite toy stores (in Kanata and on Bank Street) is Tag Along Toys. I love the great products the store carries, and the variety of items for back-to-school, including great lunch containers, backpacks, and the cool mycoldcup.com cup that will keep liquids (like milk) cold for kids throughout the day because of the freeze stick that comes in the container. For more information, visit Tag Along Toys in-store or online at TagAlongToys.ca. 

Staples: Staples is another place I love shopping with my kids for our back-to-school supplies. We love stocking up on paper, pencils, erasers, pencil cases, and so much more.

MEC: If you're looking for great backpacks with extra padding and adjustable straps, visit MEC or MEC.ca for a wide variety of backpacks for students of all ages.

Happy back-to-school shopping, everyone. If you have any questions about any of the products I talked about, just let me know. I'd be happy to provide more information. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Strong Moms Inspire P&G Thank You, Mom Campaign

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have come and gone—it's really amazing how quickly these last two have gone by! What did me in every time was watching the P&G Thank You, Mom commercial, knowing what a huge role family plays in these athletes day-to-day lives. The commercial follows the Olympic Games journeys of four moms and their kids, showing moments, both big and small, when a mother's strength makes all the difference.

Canada did amazing this year, winning 22 medals. It was especially heartwarming to see Brianne Thiessen-Eaton win the bronze in women's Heptathlon. She was amazing and inspiring. Thiessen-Eaton is also a Crest Canada ambassador, and it was great watching her #SmileThrough every tough challenge she faced during the Olympics. She really understands the power of perseverance, hard work, and determination.

And how amazing was Andre De Grasse? He's Canada's Bolt, and made the country proud with his triple win (a silver, and two bronze medals). I can't wait to see what's next for these two athletes.

As part of P&G's dedication to bringing the best to moms around the world every day, P&G brands partnered with Olympic athletes like Andre De Grasse and Brianne Thiessen-Eaton on their journey to Rio, and celebrated these athletes and their families by hosting them in the P&G Family Home in Rio, where they were able to enjoy a home away from home during the gruelling two weeks, complete with beauty and grooming treatments from P&G brands like Pantene, Gillette, and Crest.

As the Olympics wrap up tonight and we watch the closing ceremony, here's a look back a the P&G Thank You, Mom commercial, Strong,  that made me tear up every time I watched it:

Disclaimer: I am a Crest Brand Ambassador. I have received compensation for my post and all views and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smiles And Stamina: How To Train Like An Olympic Heptathlete

Have you been watching the 2016 Rio Olympics? I've been watching non-stop with my children and we are loving all the events, especially track, swimming, and gymnastics.

Canadian women have been rocking the podium at the Olympics, winning so many medals—and I think it's important to watch with my kids to show them how far you can go with the right mind set and determination. I love hearing the stories about the athlete's journey to Rio, and what an important role family plays in helping these athelete's reach their goals. (And I still cry every time I watch a P&G Thank You Mom commercial—without fail.)

It was so cool watching Brianne Theissen-Eaton win bronze in women's hepathalon. Unlike other track and field competitions, the hepathalon is a really physically and mentally demanding sport. It's comprised of seven different events over a two-day period, and takes stamina, determination, and the ability to #SmileThrough the challenges to train for the different difficult multi-disciplinary sport.

Here are some workout tips inspired by Brianne's track and field coach, Alicia Bell:

Warm Up: Incorporate dynamic work-out drills before any workout, like stretches like leg swings or bounding.

Plyometrics: Jumping exercises, also known as "plyos" are exercises where muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power. You can try this at home by incorporating hurdle hops, box jumps, squat jumps or lunge jumps into your workout.

High Intensity Training: Cardio exercices in track and field are often called "tempo" or "fartlek" and they help prepare for the running events in the heptathlon. You can do this at home, in the gym or on the track, through high intensity interval training. This is a training technique where you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short, active, recovery periods. This will get your heart rate up and you'll burn more fat in less time.

Upper Body: A strong upper body will power you through touch workouts and races while helping you maintain good form as you train to boost endurance. Medicine balls are a great way to train of the upper body strength needed for javelins and shot put. To do this, try incorporating medial throws, slams, and wall balls in your workout.

Hydration: It's so important to stay hydrated—just as important as it is to eat healthy. Training and performing for seven different events can be gruelling, so make sure to have a water bottle close by to take sips throughout your workout.

Every year, P&G's Olympic Games campaign is inspired by the research brands like Pantene, Bounty, and Crest, to create products that work better for moms and families. This year, Brianne—who understands the power of perseverance—was sponsored by Crest, and it's quite evident she knows how to #SmileThrough it all, despite the obstacles,and challenges. It was great seeing her smile with her much deserved bronze medal, too.

Disclaimer: I have been compensated by Crest, and all views and opinions are my own. 

Ways To Give Back

Header Image

Summer goes by so quickly, even though the days sometimes pass slowly when I'm home with the kids every day. We keep busy by going on vacation and when we're not away, my boys do several weeks of tennis camp, which they love. We do the usual fun summer activities, like swimming, BBQ's with friends and family, sightseeing around the city, and more.

Another important part of our life—no matter the season—is giving back, doing our part in helping the community, and charity work. I love working with companies and organizations who get the importance of charity and giving back. 

Here are some ways you can get active and involved:

Ways To Give Back 

Stay active in the community: We love staying active in our community by donating what we no longer need to different charity groups. I love getting my children involved so they learn the importance of giving back from an early age. We donate books we no longer read, give away clothes we've outgrown and even give away household items that we don't need anymore. We drop off to different charity groups throughout the year.  Staying involved in our community is important, and showing my boys ways they can help and give back is important to me, too. 

Donate: We often buy extra canned goods and other non-perishable food items when we're at the grocery store and drop off in the food donation bins. We've also gone to the local food pantry a few times, as it's a great way to teach my children why we should be donating all the time, not just around the holidays. If you can help, you should. 

Recycle: This is something that's pretty easy to do, and if you teach children to reduce, re-use, and recycle from a young age, they'll get in the habit of recycling for life. 

Find a charity you love: A charity we donate to every year is CHEO—the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Because we've had to use CHEO several times for our oldest son, it's a hospital that's very near and dear to my heart. Any chance I get to donate and give back to CHEO, I do, and my children love knowing that CHEO is our chosen charity. 

There are so many ways you can get involved and give back to your community, too. And it's especially worthwhile to show younger children the importance of charity, too. I appreciate the work The Egg Farmers of Canada does to help give back in big ways, too. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Luxury In The Heart Of Tremblant With Tremblant Living

Mont Tremblant is a favourite vacation destination for us, and only a couple of hours from Ottawa, making it perfect for a weekend or week-long getaway, no matter the season.

I had the privilege of reviewing the stunning Manor Chalet home with Tremblant Living, and I was so happy our friends were able to come enjoy this vacation with us, too. We loved every minute, and we can't wait to visit again soon. This home—with nine large bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a small gym, game room, indoor pool, hot tub, and so much more—was breathtaking.

Tremblant Living specializes in superior luxury vacation rental homes in Mont Tremblant, with homes located on or close to the Mont Tremblant resort. The Manor Chalet was the home that instantly caught my eye because of the large indoor pool and hot tub—I knew the children would love experiencing their own indoor pool during our vacation. This gorgeous 12,000 sq. ft. home is beautiful—and is the most prestigious property in the Tremblant area. It's truly a four-season paradise, and perfect for a big group of friends, with our without children. (Can you imagine relaxing in front of the fireplace or in the indoor pool and hot tub after hours spent skiing, in the winter? Perfection!)

The Manor Chalet is surrounded by a peaceful forest, with a beautiful private mountain stream that was very popular with the children. The home was tranquil and peaceful, but also a minute away from the Tremblant village, so it really is the best of both worlds.

Most of our time was spent enjoying the beautiful home, but we ventured into the village a couple of times a day to entertain the kids on the Cabriolet (over and over again) and we also enjoyed the gorgeous ride up on the Panoramic Gondola, with views of the highest peak in the Laurentians. It was a scorching hot day when we rode the Gondola, but it was still so worth it for the views and experience.

Although the village is only a minute away, there is so much to do in the Manor Chalet, we almost never left. We took full advantage of the outdoor fire pit by the mountain stream in the evenings, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, walked by the stream, swam in the indoor pool, and relaxed in the hot tub, and the children kept busy in the pool, playing soccer, enjoying the play structure in the backyard, and playing pool in the newly renovated basement. They even enjoyed several games of hide in seek in the massive home. The children didn't want to leave, and we'd all have been happy to spend a few more days in the home, too.

The fully-equipped, newly renovated, state-of-the-art kitchen was perfect for our big group, and we prepared all our meals in the home. I love that there is also the option of hiring a private chef during your stay—something we'll take advantage of the next time we stay at a Tremblant Living property. Tremblant Living also offers a personal concierge to help you plan your outings.

I'm so glad everyone loved their stay at the Manor Chalet, and I love all the new memories that were made. It's no surprise to me that I received over a dozen requests for information about Tremblant Living while we were away, from friends who wanted to know where I was staying so they could plan their next trip to Tremblant with Tremblant Living. Sadly, we're back to reality now, but we've got our memories and we know we'll do it again soon enough. It's the only way I want to experience Tremblant now—it was truly an incredible and luxurious summer vacation.

For more information on the properties offered through Tremblant Living, check out TremblantLiving.ca. If you have any questions about my stay, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you, Tremblant Living, for the experience.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The 90's Choker Trend: Back In Style

I'm pretty consistent with my style, and although I'm always shopping (it's an addiction I've come to accept) I stick to the basics, usually—for summer, that means cute heels and wedges, little dresses, (mostly black) and jeans with tank tops. Oh, and anything Free People.

Two trends I'm absolutely loving right now that have made a huge comeback are off-the shoulder tops and chocker necklaces. I've gone crazy shopping for off-the-shoulder tops and chokers. If you're looking for off-the-shoulder tops, check out Nordstrom Ottawa. (And what better time to shop than this weekend, during their famous Anniversary Sale—the big sale starts on July 22nd, so get there early.)

The 90's are back in a big way right now, with off-the-shoulder tops and dresses and chokers that everyone is wearing right now.

I picked up three chokers from Aldo this week, two black and one brown, and I love wearing them with my off-the-shoulder tops, dresses, and tank tops. The best part? They're totally affordable and a great way to accessorize for summer.

Here are a few that I love:

These three chokers are from Aldo, and all are under twenty dollars:

You can also stock up at Nordstrom Ottawa, and with the Anniversary Sale starting this weekend, it's a perfect time to go shop for these great necklaces:

Check out H&M, too—always a great place to shop for accessories that are very affordable. This choker is under ten dollars:

Happy shopping, everyone! The 90's are back in the best way possible.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Falling In Love With The Dailey Method

I've been a member of many gyms over the years, and as much as I love my usual work out routine of taking classes, spinning, or just doing my own thing with weights, swimming, and the elliptical machine, I was in the mood for something different, because I always love a new challenge.

I was so excited when I was asked to be a Brand Ambassador for The Dailey Method, because I had never done barre before. After taking a tour of the studio, and meeting the lovely owners, Sarah Thompson and Jamie Rigby, I fell in love—and that was before I took a class! I love how friendly the instructors are, and how they've build an amazing sense of community in the studio. It's easy to make friends at The Dailey Method.

Fast forward a few days, and I was officially taking part in the #DoItDailey30 challenge. My challenge? To attend a class at The Dailey Method at least three times a week. I'm happy to say I did just that.

You guys? It was hard. Much harder than I anticipated. I thought barre was going to be relaxing and easy, but instead, I found out it was not what I imagined. It was challenging. And it worked every single muscle in my body, leaving me sore, but happy, and energized.  I could see the difference after only a few classes. So, as far as fitness is concerned, you're going to get an amazing work out. And it'll be tough, and you'll sweat, and you'll find out just how flexible you are... and how flexible you'll be after only a few classes.

The Dailey Method (TDM) is not only popular in Ottawa's Glebe studio, but also across North America and Europe. To give you a bit of background here, TDM is a safe, efficient, and effective (like crazy effective!) way to increase muscle length, strength tone, and balance, while improving cardio strength, posture, and motivation. Also, any sort of pain you might have been experiencing before, like lower back pain? I found that for me, I had no more pain, even after a tough workout. It really is body changing... and mind changing. I'm addicted.

The Daily Method helps you achieve a fit, healthy body, with toned, flexible muscles, and the best part is TDM has some amazing instructors—not the mention some seriously amazing music to go along with your workout, from 80's tunes to Broadway tunes, and of course, some Drake... right, Sarah?

Another thing I love about The Dailey Method is that it's affordable. And with so many classes to choose from, you'll be able to make it work with your schedule.

If you have any questions about my #DoitDailey30 challenge, or about The Dailey Method, please feel free to email me. And see you at the barre.

Powering Your Child's Imagination With Duracell and Hasbro (Plus A Giveaway!)

We're half way through July and keeping busy enjoying summer and all the fun activities, from camp to tennis to swimming and hours of soccer at the park. Of course, my kids are staying busy indoors, too, on rainy summer days, and passing their time with their favourite toys—like Nerf guns, their BB-8 Droid, and video games—all of which require batteries. I've said it before—and I'll say it again—it's essential to have batteries of all sizes in the house, all the time.

Duracell is the name we trust, and the Duracell Quantum Hi-Density Core battery stores more power boosters to provide longer lasting performance than ever before. It's the battery we use for everything that needs to be powered up—from the remote control to toys and more. Duracell definitely helps give more hours of play out of my children's toys during, before, and long after the holidays have passed, and although we're not thinking ahead to winter holidays just yet, I love seeing the toys that'll get my kids excited, but before we get excited for that, I bring out toys that my kids have forgotten about over the months—the toys they needed to have just a few months ago. I've always loved rotating toys in my house.

Playtime with toys and games are an essential part of a child's development, and I love that Duracell helps power imaginations in children. I've partnered with Duracell and am giving away a Star Wars The Force Awakens BB-8 Droid for your kids to enjoy—and of course, lots of Duracell batteries to keep it powered up for hours of play.

To enter to win, just leave me a comment below telling me how you help your children power their imaginations through play. I'll pick a winner on July 30th, randomly.

Good Luck!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post and all views and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Netflix And Chill This Summer

School's been out for a few weeks already (how do the summer months fly by so quickly?) and we've been keeping busy, mostly enjoying the gorgeous weather outside. 

My boys have re-discovered their love of soccer, thanks to Euro Cup 2016, and they've been kicking the ball around all day—that is, when they're not swimming until after dark. With two weeks of tennis camp coming up, I'm mindful that we spend some quality time together indoors, too, doing fun things like "help mom clean the house", "organize your rooms" and of course, snuggling up on the couch, after hours spent playing outside. I need some "me time" time, too, to get work done, so I totally appreciate that Netflix is able to entertain my children when they need time to relax.

My boys are a little older so the nice thing is, we're able to enjoy many Netflix shows and movies together, popcorn in hand. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is one of our favourite movies to watch.

Several weeks ago, Netflix invited my children and I to watch some of the great new shows for kids, and my boys had a blast viewing and enjoying the tasty lunch at the Westin Hotel.

Here are some fun shows kids can enjoy on Netflix this summer:

Netflix never lets me or my kids down, and I love discovering movies and shows I haven't yet seen—and re-discovering movies, too. 

This summer, it's always balance... or trying to achieve balance, in some way, and that means as much fun as we're having outdoors, we try to find time to spend time together inside, too, and I can think of no better way to do that than with a bow of popcorn, and Netflix, of course. 

Disclaimer: I am a part of the Netflix Stream Team. I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this program, and all views and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

On The Road To Rio With Crest: Win An Oral-B Black 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush And a Visa Gift Card

Summer is all about travel and no matter how hard I try to not pack too many items in my suitcase, packing my beauty essentials is something that's non-negotiable for me. Even when I'm on the road, or on vacation, I always pack my Crest 3D whitening strips and toothpaste. Having a white smile is always important to me—even while on vacation or when I'm travelling.

This summer it's all about the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and I love that Canadian athlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton is sponsored by Crest—the only toothpaste I use! Brianne knows a thing or two about travelling and being on the road all the time.

Here are some of her useful travel tips:

1. Adapt yourself to the routine of your destination's time zone as soon as possible. (This is not always to do, as I've learned when travelling overseas with my children, but it sure does help get everyone used to the new time zone sooner.)

2. Check the expiration date on your passport—make sure you've got enough time to get you passports renewed!

3. Take your time when packing—this is sometimes hard, and complicated, but if you're a careful packer, you'll take up less room room in your suitcase, you won't forget the items you need, and you can even try to talk yourself out of packing yet another pair of shoes you will likely not wear.

4. Keep the basics in a carry-on. If your suitcase gets lost and you have to wait a day or two to get it, make sure you've got a change of clothes in your carry-on and the essentials, like Crest White Brilliance 2 Step Toothpaste, since the tubes are under 100 ml each.

5. Eat healthy! This is not always easy when travelling through airports, so pack your own snacks to avoid the temptation of eating badly, which can make you feel groggy.

6. Plan some downtime. While you're relaxing in your hotel and charging you phone, you can even use Crest 3D Whitestrips to give you an even whiter smile for those pictures.

These great tips will help you #SmileThrough it all.

Another thing to make you smile?

I'm giving away a $50 VISA gift card so you can buy your travel essentials and an Oral-B Black 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush! This toothbrush is no ordinary toothbrush; it's worth $239.99, and is available at select retailers across Canada. Used together with Crest 3D White toothpaste, you're guaranteed a perfect smile and healthy, sparkling teeth.

Here are some cool things about the Oral-B Black 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush:

  • It works in tandem with a mobile tracking app, delivering real time guidance and records your teeth brushing activities to provide personalized oral health data. 
  • The power brush has a built-in timer to ensure that you brush for the dentist recommended two minutes and notifies you once complete. The app also provides news updates to keep you busy while you brush, and it signals and decelerates speed when the user is brushing too hard.
  • It removes up to 100% more plaque than a regular toothbrush.
  • It stores your date, helps you stay informed, and helps you become a better brusher. Anything I can do to avoid multiple visits to the dentist—I'm a big fan of! 

To win, just leave me a comment below telling me what your travel essentials are. I'll pick a winner randomly on July 10th.

P&G is participating in this giveaway only as a prize supplier and is hereby released from any and all liability which may occur through the promotion, administration, and execution of the contest. This contest is officially sponsored by Loulou's Views. 

Disclaimer: I have been compensated by Crest, and all views and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thank You, Mom: The Road To The Rio 2016 Olympic Games With P&G And Crest

I've loved the Olympics since I was a little girl, and no, not just because I'm Greek, although it does make me proud that Greece is the birthplace of the Olympics. It's so much more than that for me, though. Watching my country compete against other countries from around the world makes me happy and excited. I love the beauty of seeing countries come together this way—the Olympics unites us in a wonderful way, no matter the sport, no matter who wins.

The beauty of it all truly lies in the story of the athlete—wherever they are from—and how they overcame obstacles and worked extremely hard to make their dreams a reality. Of course, none of that can be accomplished without the support, love, and tears from friends, coaches, trainers, and of course... family. Especially mom. (I'm going to start crying here!)

Every single time I watch a Thank You, Mom P&G video I cry. It doesn't matter how many times I see the same video, it brings me to tears. Maybe because I'm a mom, maybe because I can absolutely picture myself feeling that proud of my children, no matter what they do, or achieve. It take me back to when I was a child, competing in certain sports, and knowing that my mom was always there for me, proud of me, no matter the outcome. It is the greatest feeling in the world having that unconditional support and love from family.

If you haven't already seen the new P&G Thank You, Mom video yet, titled Strong, watch it now:

I mean... tears of joy, happiness, and just overwhelming emotion, right?

Being a mom is the hardest job there is. And as children grow, the challenges get bigger, too. It's how we teach, guide, and support them in whatever they love and are passionate about that'll help keep the bond strong. As part of P&G's dedication to bringing the best to moms around the world every day, P&G brands have partnered with Olympians and their moms on their journey to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, across 21 countries around the world, including Canada.

I'm happy to be supporting Crest and athlete Brianne Theissen-Eaton, who is a double Silver Medalist at IAAF Outdoor World Championships, Gold and Silver Medalist at IAAF Indoor World Championships, Commonwealth Gold Medalist, and a Pam Am Bronze Medalist.

P&G will be hosting a P&G Family Home in Rio de Janeiro, where athletes will enjoy a home away from home during the Olympic Games complete with beauty treatments from Pantene, Gillette, Tide, and of course, Crest. I love that P&G recognizes moms who support their children this way, and I truly love how P&G created the Thank you, Mom campaign.

Stay tuned for more from me as I work with Crest on a wonderful giveaway for one of my readers. In the meantime... time to start getting excited for the Olympics... and make sure you have some tissues to dry the emotional tears.

Disclaimer: I am a Crest Brand Ambassador. I have received compensation for my post and all views and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Look Ageless This Summer With Olay PLUS A Skin Care Giveaway

I'm not ashamed to admit how many beauty products I have in my bathroom, and no, I don't think it's an unhealthy addiction to be obsessed with skin care and beauty products. On the contrary, I think as we get older, taking care of our skin and changing up our beauty routine should be a priority.

I love experimenting and trying new products, and there are two things I'm looking for when it comes to skin care:

1. Proper protection from the sun's harmful rays.
2. Skin care that's designed to help keep my skin look youthful.

To the rescue: 

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30: This cream provides UVA/UVB protection, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and skin looks and feels firmer in days.

Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 30: This moisturizer fights the signs of aging, like age spots and dryness, like minimizing the look of line and wrinkles, and firms skin with continued use. Bonus? The build-in SPF 30.

Now that we're in the midst of summer (the best time of the year) it's time to take extra care of our delicate skin. I don't know about you, but I'm outside most of the day, and in direct contact with the sun, because I do love feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. Sun exposure is always happening, so wearing moisturizer with a built-in SPF is absolutely necessary for me.

Olay is a name I've trusted and used for years—in fact, Olay is the first moisturizer I ever bought. These tow products have been incredible on my skin, especially during these hot and sunny months.

I love these products so much I'd love you to try them, too. I'm giving away an Olay prize pack with some excellent products you'll love, valued at $165. 

I'll pick a winner randomly on June 30th, so good luck! Just leave me a comment below telling me how you take care of you skin.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grow Your Garden With PC Lawn and Garden

Summer is going by so fast, even though it wasn't until yesterday that we celebrated the first "official" day of summer. I can't get enough of the great outdoors in the summertime, and any time I spend outside with my boys makes me so happy... even when I'm gardening! Or, even better, when I am enjoying the beautiful gardens surrounding me.

PC Lawn and Garden products are perfect for any garden, and shopping PC Lawn and Garden is a great experience, too—from the helpful service to the plants, flowers, and tools I need, it's my one-stop shop for everything I need for my home, front and back.

I love bringing fresh flowers inside the home, too—especially when I've grown the flowers myself!

Whether you're growing your own food—and who doesn't love fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs to pick from your own backyard to use in your summer salads?—to beautiful flowers in gorgeous, vibrant colours, PC Lawn and Garden truly has it all. If you're new to planting "edibles" in your backyard garden, try starting with PC Framberry strawberries, a delicious strawberry that has a sweet, almost raspberry flavour, to it. And here's something truly unique: try the PC Ketchup and Fries, a unique tomato grafted onto a potato plants. Isn't that so cool?

No matter what you're planting this summer in your garden, know that PC Lawn and Garden has all that you need, and if you'r like me—someone who doesn't normally do a lot of gardening—it's a great place to start, because helpful workers will answer all the question you have, and you'll leave knowing a thing or two about planting and taking care of your new garden all season long.

Happy gardening!

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